Copa Coca-Cola un­der-15 launched

The Manica Post - - Sport - Fun­gayi Mun­y­oro Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

COCA Cola has taken the ini­tia­tive to level the prize money for this year’s Copa Coca-Cola Un­der-15 soc­cer tour­na­ment for both boys and girls. The 2018 na­tional Copa Coca-Cola soc­cer tour­na­ment was launched at Rusu­nun­guko High School in Goromonzi, Mashona­land East prov­ince this week.

In the past, the prize money for the boys was more than that of the girls, a move which al­ways caused up­roar.

In the pre­vi­ous years, the win­ners in the boys cat­e­gory walked away with $5 400, run­ners up with $3 000, third place $ 2 000, fourth place $1 500, while los­ing quar­ter fi­nal­ists walked away with $850 each and the rest of the par­tic­i­pat­ing teams were given $750 each.

In the girls’ cat­e­gory win­ners were given $3 500 while run­ners up pock­eted $2 200. Third placed team got away with $1 600, while fourth placed got $1 100. Los­ing quar­ter fi­nal­ists and all the par­tic­i­pat­ing teams got $850 and $750 re­spec­tively. Coca-Cola se­nior brand man­ager Vee Chibanda an­nounced that the girls that would be tak­ing part in this year’s Copa Coca-Cola na­tional Un­der-15 soc­cer tour­na­ment would now get the same prize money as the boys.

“We re­alise that there is no rea­son why the boys should get more than what girls get. So this year, the good news is that to mark our 30th an­niver­sary, we have equalled the play­ing field. Girls’ prizes are the same as boys’ prizes.

“Last year we took the girls to the re­gional tour­na­ment for the first time and we are not go­ing back­wards, we are con­tin­u­ing with sup­port­ing both boys and girls,” she said.

Rusu­nun­guko High School, from Mashona­land East, are the boys de­fend- ing cham­pi­ons. Chidya­makono from Masvingo are the reign­ing cham­pi­ons in the girls sec­tion and have been the ti­tle hold­ers since 2013.

The Un­der-15 tour­na­ment will kick off on a zonal ba­sis with win­ners pro­gress­ing to the dis­trict level then pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship, cul­mi­nat­ing in na­tional fi­nals. The zonal games are set to start on May 24. The dis­trict com­pe­ti­tion is pen­cilled for June 8, while the pro­vin­cial fi­nals are ex­pected to take place on June 22.

Man­dava sta­dium, in Zvisha­vane will host the na­tional fi­nals from July 12-14. The launch was graced by for­mer Dy­namos cap­tain Jus­tice Ma­jabvi, for­mer War­riors de­fender Dick­son Choto, Gun­ners’ More Moyo, Mighty War­riors player Rudo Ne­shamba and Greater Bande.

Teams were put in four groups of three. In the boys’ cat­e­gory, Group A is made up of Man­dava High, Harare and Man­i­ca­land. Group B has Bu­l­awayo, Mid­lands and Mata­bele­land North. Group C has Mashona­land Cen­tral, Mata­bele­land South and Mashona­land East. Group D is made up of Masvingo, Rusu­nun­guko and Mashona­land West.

In the girls’ cat­e­gory, Group A has Man­i­ca­land, Mata­bele­land South and Zvisha­vane High; Group B is made up of Mashona­land East, Mata­bele­land North and Mid­lands. Group C has Chidya­makono, Mashona­land Cen­tral and Mashona­land East. Group D has Harare, Masvingo and Bu­l­awayo.

Vee Chibanda

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